Blog home

Minority Students and the NNAT Test ®

Minority Students and the NNAT Test ®

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - January 27th, 2014

Even in school districts where gifted and talented entrance requirements have come under fire as being discriminatory, the one shining beacon is the Naglieri Test. This test is called the Nagliei Non-Verbal Ability Test, and shortened to NNAT. Why is this? Essentially, it’s the culturally unbiased approach of the Naglieri test that makes it a strong addition to any gifted and talented assessment criteria. The non-verbal emphasis of this test allows for children who have English as a second or third language to have their natural intelligence shine through.

The unbiased approach of the Naglieri Test comes from the fact that the entire exam draws on nonverbal abilities to gauge intelligence. In other words, it allows students from any cultural or socio-economic background to demonstrate their intellectual capabilities without requiring language or vocabulary skills. If your child is not strong in English or vocabulary, the NNAT can help identify their strong intelligence better than other tests.

So what is it that makes the Naglieri Test more culturally fair? It is the format of the test questions and the progressive levels of difficulty in the test sections that produce more accurate IQ assessment results, according to proponents of the Naglieri Test. For instance, a child whose primary language in the home is not English may not perform as well on a test that requires a strong understanding of the English language; hence even a gifted child may not score as gifted on another IQ assessment test. However, on the Naglieri Test, students from every demographic, including ESL and minority students, are equally represented in gifted and talented results. Many school districts, including the New York Gifted and Talented program, have moved towards the NNAT as their gifted and talented exam to ensure that their screening process is balanced.

NNAT-2® and Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® and Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices™ are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliate(s), or their licensors. is not affiliated with nor related to Pearson Education, Inc or its affiliates (“Pearson”). Pearson does not sponsor or endorse any product, nor have products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Pearson. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

Share this article

Tell us about your experiences

One Response


We live in Houston, Texas and are looking for a coevsehmnripe OLSAT guide for our son who will be taking an exam to enter 6th grade. What is the best publication to buy? thanks

Need help? - Contact Support